Headteacher’s Weekly Bulletin
Friday 28th November 2014
I must start this week with a correction / apology. Last week I mentioned John Dyson (the inventor / engineer / vacuum cleaner chap). Of course his name is James not John and thank you to Mr Travis for, firstly, reading my bulletin but also for being alert enough to spot my (deliberate!) mistake. I’m sure Mr Dyson often browses the Wellington School website on a Friday evening, so sorry if any offence caused.
Well, another great week at Wellington and, I have to say, I’ve had a fantastic Friday morning. Even Mrs Tasker commented how cheery I looked earlier. There are a number of reasons for my good spirits but, primarily, I spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour with a group of Year 11’s period 1. Ordinarily we would be in the LRC doing ‘subject support’ but on this occasion we opted to convene to my office for some light refreshments and a bit of ‘circle time’. It proved to be an extremely worthwhile gathering as we covered topics such as plans post-16, the mock exam timetable, revision techniques and even the pros and cons of being Headteacher of Wellington. I was mightily impressed with the maturity of the students and how they articulated themselves. Furthermore, they all have clear goals for next September and seem suitably motivated for the challenges that lie ahead in Year 11. I would conclude two things from our chat; 1) I have a fabulous job and 2) as a school, we’re clearly doing something right to produce youngsters of this calibre.
First up from this week’s news, an update on an item I reported on last year.
On Sunday 30th November, Matilda Bennett (12DWS) and Connie Bennett (10PRR), representing the North Region Air Training Corps, will take part in a National music competition at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. Earlier on this year, along with five other musicians, you may recall that they won the Air Training Corps Wing competition, closely followed by a win in the North Region competition at RAF Linton on Ouse in North Yorkshire. Matilda and Connie are members of 145 (Hale and Altrincham) Squadron Air Training Corps which meets twice a week at the Squadron HQ on Mainwood Road in Timperley. They both play piano and sing and the other members of the group play guitar (both acoustic and electric) and play the drums. Fingers crossed for continued success this weekend.
Design & Technology
Miss Carter has forwarded some examples of the work Year 9 have produced during their first rotation in Product Design.
They are creating CAM wooden toys influenced by endangered animals. The students have written poems, thus learning about the animals, as well as cutting the entire CAM mechanism themselves. Here is one of the poems I particularly enjoyed, ‘No Space’ by Jordan Burrows;
I’m tired of carrying my home around
A 3 bed detached is nowhere to be found
With dingy brown walls and no central heating
And only one room that I can just keep my feet in
As much as I complain I’m really quite attached
I’m not sentimental, I’ve just had it since I hatched
I will outlive a dog, a cat or a horse
I’ll even outlive you,
I’m a turtle ofcourse.
This sounds like an excellent project and one with which the students have clearly engaged.
On Friday 14th November the Year 10 GCSE Food Technology class spent the day at Reaseheath College’s Food Innovation Centre. Mrs Ryan provides this account of the day; “The college boasts a multi-million pound facility where the Year 10 ‘foodies’ were able to participate in practical sessions as well as learn about hygiene and safety and commercial processes.
During the morning session there was a tour of the centre visiting the bakery, dairy and butchery. Students then made butter which they were then able to take home at the end of the day. Following this was the favourite session of the day – a taste testing panel. A number of delicious pastries and cakes had been prepared by Reaseheath students for Year 10 to rate and assess.
After lunch there was the final practical session of the day. Working with the bakery manager, students made pastry hearts. This demonstrated a practical way of using pastry off-cuts and we were reliably informed that this is what professional chefs do.
All in all the feedback from Year 10 was that the day had been really useful as they could now see the vast career opportunities in the food industry.”
Thank you for the detailed account, Mrs Ryan, and also for arranging the visit and escorting the students.
Miss Spence emailed this very thorough résumé of goings-on in English.
Mrs Sheehan would like to congratulate Luke Noble, Luke Drummond, George Kane, Matt Loizou, James Abbey, Kieran Wood and Andy Henshall on their excellent contributions during the P4C discussion focusing on celebrities, body image and the impact of social media on teenagers. This group discussion inspired several excellent speaking and listening presentations, in particular, a presentation from Ben Redman, Matt Loizou and Sam Gravatt. Well done! This is fantastic to see Year 10 pupils developing key skills for their English GCSE assessment.
Miss Hichens would like to acknowledge the hard work of her students across several year groups. Year 8 and 9 pupils have been taking inspiration from famous paintings to create their own poetry and monologues.
Well done to Ellie Blake, Talia Williams, Millie Hargreaves, Hannah Adderley, Aimee Kitto, Charlotte Lastoweckyi, Niamh Fitzsimons, Mohammed Bawadekji and Oscar Clarke in Year 8. Gentian Boguveci, Holly Tait, Jessica Teague, Cara Rushton, Macy Shaw and Leah Fraser in Year 9.
Year 9 have been working on a whole class re-enactment of Tom Robinson’s trial in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Some pupils played Tom, some the prosecution and some Atticus’ defence. All pupils were fantastic but a special mention to Patrick O’Connor, Connor Oldbury, Alfie Norfolk, Callum Chesters and Dominika Gladowska for their contributions.
Miss Spence has been encouraging 8.2b to become news reporters by setting an independent homework task to interview parents, staff and pupils on the issue of homework (their choice of topic). Pupils had the opportunity to become live reporters by filming their interviews which is great practice for the annual BBC School Report day on the 19th March. Well done 8.2b!
Pupils from 10.1 English Literature have been creating revision videos for a GCSE unit on Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry. After studying 8 poems, each group selected a poem and filmed themselves teaching the poem. Miss Spence aims to use these videos as a revision tool for their exams in Year 11. Well dne to all pupils.
Finally, all Year 7 pupils have completed the introductory ‘Autobiographies unit’ during lessons. Pupils in 7.4A have worked extremely hard drafting and redrafting their work to produce some very entertaining pieces of autobiographical writing. Keep up the hard work!
Miss Spence would also like to pass on huge congratulations to her tutor group, 7ZSE, and to that of English colleague Mrs McDonnell, 7LML, who (as reported last week) won the Year 7 Christmas Fair project and now get the chance to sell their products on the day. Miss Spence would like to say well done to everyone who took part it was wonderful to see all pupils working together generating lots of creative ideas. Mrs Ryan adds that representatives of both tutors group then spent the morning in the Food Technology area, preparing the goodies for Sunday’s event. Make sure you get to the Christmas Fair nice and early for a chance of purchasing some of these delicious treats.
Mr Baker informs me that 8.1b and 8.5a have this week been building slum towns, small and large, to help them think about what life is like in Kenyan slum, Kibera. “On Wednesday 8.1b literally turned the classroom upside-down and into a free market as trading naturally took place, sellotape became a highly sought after commodity. Before gangs fully took control of proceedings, students tidied very efficiently and reflected on their slum experience. 8.5a built smaller models with incredible detail to show how life would be different to Altrincham.
Mr Morgan reports that the GCSE outdoor pursuit’s assessment went well in North Yorkshire this week. “Together with Mr Gubbins and Miss Richards, 35 GCSE PE students travelled to the ‘High Adventure Centre’ to be assessed in either Climbing or Mountain Biking over three gruelling days. The Year 11’s applied themselves superbly in challenging conditions, working long hours to improve their overall GCSE practical mark, the centre staff were delighted with the ambition of the students, who were clearly on a mission to gain the best possible grade. Special mention should go to Cameron Kemp, Hannah Sultan and Daniel Walker who were given special awards by the centre staff for attitude and teamwork.
When the marks were given to students on the final morning, Wellington staff and students were delighted that the hard work had definitely paid off, with all students achieving a mark that will improve their overall GCSE grade. It is testament to the efforts of the students that 16 of them scored 10/10 for their activity, something that the centre staff agreed was no mean achievement.
Students left ‘High Adventure’ with a feeling of satisfaction, an appreciation of the beautiful North Yorkshire scenery, and a kit bag full of muddy clothes to remind parents of the hard miles they had either cycled or climbed.”
A selected group of Year 11 pupils have been very busy this week preparing for their Mock examinations with specialist subject deliverers during tutor time. An intensive revision programme has been delivered on concepts and content that pupils have struggled with. Feedback from the students has been extremely positive, so Science staff are looking forward to seeing the impact on Mock examination performance. Mrs Hoogenberg would like to thank all staff and pupils involved, and I would extend that to all staff who have given up countless additional hours this term to support students at all levels and for the students themselves for engaging with that support. This is one of the many areas (in my humble opinion) that Wellington excels in.
School Council guru, Mr Holt, reports on a recent venture, one which we embarked on last year for the first time;
“This time last week eight members of our School Council went to the head offices of Trafford Housing Trust for the Children’s Commissioner’s ‘Take-Over Day’. The Year 7 and 8 students were taken on a tour of the council offices and spent much of the day designing a programme to help people in Trafford who they considered to be most in need. This was in competition with other Trafford secondary schools so the pressure was really on.
Fuelled by a sense of doing something meaningful for the community (and an abundance of cupcakes) our students produced an outstanding plan for the local council to set up a soup-kitchen over the winter months.
We are delighted that the creativity and ingenuity of our students produced the winning bid and they were rewarded with a £150 grant to spend on a project of their choice.”
What a fantastic and genuinely meaningful achievement that really has the potential to make a difference. This is exactly what the ‘Take-Over Day’ is all about and making our students aware of societal issues and their responsibilities as young citizens is crucial. Furthermore, to be judged (once again) the best school in Trafford at anything is greeted with real relish in this office; not that I’m the least bit competitive.
I reported the result of the Year 7’s first basketball game of the season ‘hot off the presses’ last Friday evening but Mr ‘Magic’ Fenwick has now provided a full account of that and their subsequent fixture.
“After practising hard over recent weeks, the team played their first game against North Cestrian on Friday. Despite playing very well in defence and having plenty of shots on basket; the accuracy of the shooting let them down. In a low scoring game we lost 8-4, player of the match was Sam Thompson. With positives to take from the game and some shooting practice in the interim, the team arrived at their next game against Broadoak on Wednesday with renewed confidence. Despite taking an early lead we went behind and it stayed that way until the last five minutes. At this stage the score was 10-6 to Broadoak. The team showed tremendous resilience to turn it around and come out winners 14-12. Player of the match was Tom Addison, but a mention should also go to Sam Thompson, Dan Richardson, George Bancroft and Michael Hough.”
The Year 10/11and 8/9 basketball teams picked themselves up from defeats in the opening round of fixtures, with two good wins against BTH. The Year 8/9 game was well matched with Wellington behind for most of the game, the team worked hard throughout and were strong in the final quarter, managing to overcome BTH 33-28. Man of the match Lloyd Gardner.
The Year 10/11 game was not such a close game with Wellington securing a 34-14 victory. Mr Morgan was pleased to see Year 10 students Jake Howarth and Will Kelly complementing an already established group of Year 11 boys. Man of the match Ollie Spratt.
The only fixture this week was for Year 7 away at Congleton High School. When we began rugby fixtures 3 seasons ago, Congleton was the first ever match for the current Year 9’s and we have enjoyed a number of keenly fought and well-matched clashes since. Yesterday was no different. Most pleasingly, there were real signs of improvement amongst the forwards as they are beginning to recycle ball much more regularly and therefore string together more consecutive phases of play. With regard to this I would give Patrick Waters and Morgan Blair a mention for their rucking in the second half. Against a team who, according to their coach, had considerable and therefore more club rugby playing experience than us, we were ultimately disappointed to only gain a 10-10 draw. Despite having the upper hand in terms of possession and territory for large parts of the game, some uncharacteristic handling errors and unacceptable missed tackles cost us dearly. Fraser Birchall scored a superb solo effort, Dan Richardson ‘débuted’ well and Luke Frahill-Jones again showed a ‘duck to water’ inclination towards the sport, but I would have to give Man of the Match to Ashley Ross for a very combative, full-bloodied but also highly intelligent performance.
Well done to all the boys who played and I’m sure we will beat them in the return fixture.
I’m going to have to finish there; it’s nearly 3.05 and Mrs Tasker et al are out on the town tonight and is demanding the bulletin be complete asap so she can put it on the website and get home to put on her glad-rags and her new jewellery and accessories from ‘Clare’s’. Clearly, I daren’t delay her as we know where the power really lies at Wellington!
I nearly forgot – last week I predicted a win for Utd at the Emirates Stadium and the start of the climb back to the top (or at least the top 4). My crystal ball was obviously functioning well. Sorry, Mr (Blue) Rogerson! Not bad for a team without a defence.
It’s hard to believe and I had practically forgotten that we are on the cusp of December until I was reminded by the annual cry from the Beeley children this week; “When can we put the Christmas tree up and can we get a puppy?!”
“In two weeks at the earliest” and “no!” were my answers.
Have a great weekend and hope to see you all on Sunday at the Christmas Fair.
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
Thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to be the Headteacher of such an outstanding school. I relish the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards established over many years and, indeed, moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – compared to schools both locally and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School community.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher
I am pleased to publish the results and my thoughts on the latest Kirkland Rowell Parent Survey - please see the new tab at the top of the page ' Parent Survey 2013'.